Officials aim to raise awareness, protect community with Drug Take Back Day across Wisconsin

NOW: Officials aim to raise awareness, protect community with Drug Take Back Day across Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Officials are encouraging people to dispose of unused, expired or unneeded medications as part of Drug Take Back Day.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office put on one such event at the Washington Senior Center on Friday, April 21.

Deputies said the event helps take an important step forward to keep people healthy, protect the environment and fight the opioid epidemic.

"With a lot of the overdoses in our community as of late, we really want to try to battle this and let the community know that they have a place where they can bring those prescribed medications to," Deputy Kristine Rodriguez told CBS 58.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reports ambulance runs for suspected opioid overdoses in southeastern Wisconsin account for the majority of such cases in the state. Officials said events like Drug Take Back Day can help reverse those troubling trends.

"Prevention and awareness are a really big part of this we want people to be aware that they themselves have the power to get rid of any danger in their homes," Deputy Rodriguez said.

At the Washington Park Senior Center event, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said it collected 190.8 pounds of medications, filling up 14 boxes.

People who participated in the event said they wanted to be responsible in how they disposed of unused and expired medications.

"We just had some old medicine that needed to be taken care of," said Jim Cielinski of West Allis. "You don't use it and it's expired and it doesn't work so that's kind of why we do this."

Others said they wanted to keep loved ones safe.

"My mom had a lot of old medications that she wanted to get rid of," Sequoia Johnson of Milwaukee said. Johnson added her mother often has grandchildren playing at her home and wants to make sure medications don't end up in the wrong hands. "Get rid of it safe, and not have the kids around it and thinking it's candy and stuff like that," Johnson told CBS 58.

Drug Take Back Day events are taking place all over Wisconsin on Saturday, April 22.

A full list of locations for Drug Take Back Day events happening on April 22 can be found HERE

The following items are not allowed:

  • Illegal drugs
  • Needles/sharps
  • Aerosol cans
  • Biohazardous materials
  • Mercury thermometers
  • Personal care products
  • Household hazardous waste
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